As leading Cheshire divorce solicitors, we are often asked if there is a simple hack to reduce the stress of a divorce. Many people thought that the government announcement that it intends to introduce ‘’no fault’’ divorce would result in less stressful divorces but most divorce solicitors say most of the stress of a divorce comes from:
- Taking the initial decision on whether to separate or not;
- Thinking about how you will tell the children about a planned separation or the decision to start divorce proceedings ;
- Reaching an agreement about how much time the children will send in each household ;
- Breaking the news of your decision to separate to close family or to mutual friends;
- Worrying about how you will cope financially after a divorce ; that can either be immediate worries or long term concerns about the effect of getting divorced and the impact on your pension and retirement planning;
- Concerns about whether or not you will need to move out of the family home and, if so, how that will affect the children, for example ease of getting to their current schools or seeing friends.
A good divorce solicitor will tell you that there is no one magic solution to reduce divorce stress, but some simple steps can help:
- Take time for yourself
If you are facing a separation or divorce, you may be worried about how your children or family will react to the news. Often your wants and needs are low down on your list of priorities. Whilst that is understandable, it is not healthy. Whilst it is not legal advice, most good divorce solicitors would recommend that you take time for yourself, whether that is taking time for a chat with a friend or a trip to the gym.
- Acknowledge how you are feeling
If you are feeling emotional or you think things feel out of control then speaking to a counsellor or to your doctor about how you are feeling can be a good option.
- Limit social media
Social media and contact with friends via face book and other social media sites can be a comfort but it can equally be the major cause of divorce stress. That is because content and messaging, especially with a former partner, can quickly become overwhelming and distract you from the things that you do need to sort out.
- Talking to the children
Parents are often reluctant to tell their children about a planned separation. That is normally because they want to protect their children for as long as possible. Parents also tend to think that they cannot talk to their children until they themselves know the answers to what the agreed parenting arrangements will be or whether the family home will be sold or not. However, children will pick up on the atmosphere or tensions at home and normally adult stress levels are reduced once children have been told about a planned separation.
- Take legal advice
A divorce solicitor will be able to reach an agreement over parenting arrangements, custody and access and your financial settlement options. Practical and pragmatic advice taken either before your separation or at an early stage after your separation can help you reduce divorce stress and the likelihood of contested children or financial proceedings.
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For legal advice on your divorce or dissolution of civil partnership proceedings please contact us.